Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blessings in the Cornfield and Busy, Busy, Busy

Sister Lamb on Bottom Right

Dear Family,

Love you! Happy Tuesday!

I am sorry to hear about grandma, but I am more worried about you than you should be about me.

I was just reading an email from Mom saying that she hoped that I would have emailed late enough to see if Katie is having a girl or a boy. I left the room for a minute to grab the cord so that I would send you some pictures; there was an email from Katie waiting! Yea for a little girl! That is exciting :) We were actually supposed to email earlier today, but the internet at the TC was not working, so we had to reschedule for now. What a nice little blessing.

Quilt Sister Melanie Worked On
This last week has been kind of crazy. We worked at the Trail Center every day from last Tuesday to yesterday, including an 8 1/2 hour chunk on Sunday. You wouldn't think that if would really matter how much time we spend here vs. our area because we are doing missionary work the whole time, but the Trail Center just takes a lot more energy and effort. Some of my reasoning for this is that 1. We take tours on our own vs. teaching together in our prosthelyting areas = twice the amount of effort/revelation receiving necessary. 2. Lots of crazy kids running around that have been bottled up in a car all day and then are running loose in the TC. 3. In contrast, there are also lots of awesome spiritual experiences. It is like running a spiritual marathon. Before my mission, I remember someone saying that on a mission, you will work the hardest you have ever worked in you life. I kind of didn't believe that because I have worked pretty hard and for extended periods, but I have now reached a whole new level of exhausted. The difference is that missionary work isn't just physically or mentally demanding. It is physically, mentally, AND spiritually demanding all at the same time. In the Trail Center, all of those things feel even more demanding. We are constantly meeting new people, trying to create a relationship with them, trying to understand and teach to their needs, creating an environment where the Spirit can teach them, answering all of their questions, trying to remember their names, figuring out what stories to tell and then relating everything back to them, all while constantly learning new things ourselves. It is intense. Then, when we are done, we sometimes get to have some of our studies and then rush to our prosthelyting area where although we have much less time that other missionaries, there is just as much work to be done. Even without being a Trail Center leader companion, there is still more than enough to do. We are able to see so many great things happen, but we wear ourselves out trying to make sure that all of those great experiences do not go unused. Where much is given, much is expected.

Must be the Square that Sister Melly Embroidered
Some of the neat miracles that have happened in the Trail Center are: 1. I got an email from a man named Rhett that Sister Belka and I chatted with on mormon.org chat a couple of months ago. We have been emailing back and forth little bit and in this email he informed me that he was recently baptized! That was pretty exciting. I wish that I could actually meet him. 2. I took a woman named Jolinda on tour. She is from California and attends a non-denominational church. She was in Omaha with her daughter visiting her mother who has cancer. As we started on tour, Jolinda had lots of questions and had lots to share. Her mother and daughter wandered away and we spent a while talking about all kinds of things, from the atonement to faith to modern day revelation to the Book of Mormon to receiving answers to prayers. We didn't really even talk about the pioneers. (Its funny, but that seems to be the mark of a really good tour sometimes.) I was able to share a few different scriptures with her including Moroni 10:3-5 about Moroni's challenge to pray about truth and Alma 7:11-13 about the atonement. She was a really neat lady. At the end of the tour, I gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, which she promised to read. I also asked if I could have the missionaries near her come visit her and talk with her more about the Book of Mormon, which she accepted. The whole thing just felt very natural. 3. Another woman, Anne, who lives just down the street from the Trail Center, came in with her son and his fiancée. It was kind of the same situation all over again. When they first walked in the door, they immediately had questions about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and Mitt Romney :) Ha-ha. I just love when people have good questions and are willing to ask them. It makes things so much easier. They watched Zion in the Wilderness, then we started on tour and pretty quickly, I got to talking to Anne and the other two wandered away. She told me that she lived in Utah for a few years, has met with missionaries before, and absolutely loves the Church. While she and her husband were living in Utah, he hurt his knee and the ward helped them out by bring by meals and other things. That one experience has made her absolutely love the Church. She grew up Pentecostal and hated it and has not really gone to church since. She kind of hinted during the tour that she is not sure why she has not joined. She also said that she thinks that she is related to Joseph Smith, at least that is what her family used to say. Once her son leaves, we are going to figure out a time from her to come to the Trail Center so we can see if that is true! Pretty exciting! I love family history :)

Let’s see. As far as Millard, we have not had a whole lot of time, but in the time that we have had, we have mostly been trying to get Aliyah and Madison ready for baptism. Aliyah was supposed to be baptized this Saturday, but she was sick and did not come to church on Sunday, so she will have to wait until next week. It will probably turn out for the better because then she and Madison can be baptized at the same time.

We did service for Lori, one of our investigators, making more hair accessories. She introduced us to a couple of her friends, Lisa and Monica. She is so funny. She acts like a member sometimes, introducing us to her friends so that we can help them. The first thing that Lisa said when she walked in the door was, "Is this some kind of intervention?”. It kind of was, but we just got to know her as we did service for Lori and as we left Lori suggested that we make this a weekly thing so that we can be around her friends more often until we get to the point where we can teach her. I love Lori.

So, lots of great things happening! Busy, busy, busy, but I suppose that I would rather be busy than bored :)

Love you!

Sister Melly

Nebraska Sky

Sister Missionaries Need Care Packages?

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